We are Homeroom

Hi, we are Homeroom, a restaurant dedicated to the best food on earth—mac and cheese.

You probably know us from our famously delicious cheesy carbs, but what you might not know is that we are also about more than mac. We are trying to improve the world by building a business based on diversity, inclusion and empowerment.

No More Business As Usual

We’re here to show how our company is successfully doing business in a very different way—and how you can too. We share the advice, lessons, and tools from our greatest successes and most abysmal failures, and invite you to participate in the conversation and join the movement. No more business as usual.

What do we mean by diversity?

Did you know that there are more CEOs in the Fortune 500 named John than there are women? While we love guys named John, we want our company and its leadership to reflect the diverse community and industry we are in. Homeroom seeks out not just gender and racial diversity for our team, but a diversity of life experiences, and partners with various non-profits to hire refugees, formerly incarcerated folks, and graduating foster youth. Homeroom is committed to at least 70% of its leadership team being women and people of color—which still leaves room for plenty of great guys named John.

Business as Usual

Homeroom

PATRIARCHAL
Led by dudes
EGALITARIAN
Led by a mix of women, men, and everyone in between
EXCLUSIVE
Led by white people
INCLUSIVE
Led by people of all different backgrounds

Articles

Oakland restaurant devises system to combat customers’ harassment of workers

by Tara Duggan — SF Chronicle, March 2018. After a particularly upsetting incident three years ago, the Homeroom staff got together to brainstorm solutions.

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Sexual Harassment, How the Women of Homeroom created a kick-ass anti-harassment policy

by Erin Wade — The Washington Post, March 2018. How the women of Homeroom created a kick-ass anti harassment policy.

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New Report Seeks to Improve Racial Equity in Restaurants

by Janelle Bitker — East Bay Express, November 2017 Homeroom participated in a study with non-profit Restaurant Opportunity Center (ROC) to try to increase racial equity, which led to the development of a took-kit to help other restaurants do the same.

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What do we mean by empowerment?

When was the last time someone at work pulled you aside and told you how much money the company was making? Probably never. At Homeroom, we do it weekly at a meeting open to anyone in the company. Business is just like a game, except most companies hide the score and tell their teams to just be quiet and play; sort of like how your parents used to tell you what to do without telling you why to do it (which, if you are a parent, does not usually go over well). At Homeroom, everyone is expected to understand our financial and social goals, and be active participants in improving them. We do this with financial transparency and literacy, by using restorative process for conflict resolution, and by requiring weekly feedback on not just problems, but solutions. We don’t want to be like our employee’s parents— although we’re sure they are great!—we want to be their team.

Business as Usual

Homeroom

PATERNALISTIC
People in power get special information to make decisions they think are best for those below them.
EMPOWERING
Everyone is given important information and empowered to make good decisions.
DISENGAGING
Some team members get to play while others are told to sit on the sidelines and watch.
PARTICIPATORY
All team members encouraged to participate.

Articles

The Power of People-Driven Leadership

In her talk at the Tugboat Institute, Homeroom Founder and CEO Erin Wade shares her experience in building a culture of incredible food and fairness to all employees regardless of their role through recruiting, education and transparency.

Watch the video

Creating a System to Protect Restaurant Employees.

“The Tipping Equation”, New York Times, March 2018
Erin discusses Homeroom’s response to protect team members from harassment in an article outlining the challenges faced by tipped employees.

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How to Reinvent Leadership by Empowering Employees.

Conscious Company Magazine, November 2016
Homeroom Restaurant aims to be the best part of people’s day—including its employees. Founder and CEO Erin Wade explains her new leadership model.

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To connect with Erin to share stories, ask questions or discuss speaking engagements, please email HomeroomMTM@gmail.com